Little lettuces

BY SUSANA LOURENÇO . PORTUGAL . EUROPE

Lettuce, tomato and onion salad

Imagine that you go to Lisbon and that you want to try money for value traditional Portuguese food. I must say that in order for you to do that you must enter some sombre and dull small restaurants, with tables dressed in white squared paper cloths and loud voices screaming the orders over the counter.

Say you wish to try “bitoque”, a thinly cut beef, fried with garlic in a pan, served with plain rice and potato fries and usually topped whit a fried egg. You order that and on the side you ask for salad. What do you get? A hand ripped lettuce, slices of tomato and onion, with an olive or two assigned for the décor, all served in a stainless steel platter. Every time. It doesn’t matter if you ask for grilled sea bass with boiled potatoes, chicken piri-piri or Portuguese style diced pork meat. Every portion served in Lisbon comes with this fresh boring treat. I guess it’s because people from this city are known for always being lettuce lovers. In fact, they’re called “alfacinhas”, little lettuces. I wonder…

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One thought on “Little lettuces

  1. Haha, oh yes, I remember those salads from my year in Lisbon. I guess you have to be lucky enough to get the olives on them; plus the huge grains of salt – you either eat it with none of them on your lettuce leaf or you have to drink half of your vinho verde because you cannot stand the salty taste anymore… It was also there where I found out that you can actually serve tomatoes still green in a restaurant. Oh, you have no idea how much I miss Lisbon:) Saudades…

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